In a blog post on Monday, the Center for Copyright Information announced that major US Internet service providers have begun rolling out a new initiative that will disrupt Internet access for those individuals that violate online copyright laws.
The initiative comes a months after a new anti-piracy law went into effect in Japan that could result in downloaders of copyright-infringing material face up to two years in prison, or a fine of more than $25,000.
Dubbed “Copyright Alert System”, the initiative was first announced in July 2011 and is backed by the President Barack Obama administration as well as the music recording and film industries.
AT&T, Cablevision Systems, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon are all involved in the plan, which has been in the works for more than four years.
The plan will feature a four-offense “mitigation measures” approach that could result in slowing down Internet speeds and sending subscriber’s service to a landing page that contains educational materials about infringement if they are suspected of illegally downloading.
If subscribers ignore these messages, the ISP might go as far as sending pop-ups or redirecting them to a web page that displays the alert.
Disciplinary actions will vary among ISPs. For instance, Time Warner Cable said they will send an email to those subscribers suspected of illegal downloading after the first two offenses.
If those emails are ignored and the subscriber continues to illegally download files the ISP will redirect the subscriber to a landing page that informs subscribers about the legalties of downloading illegal content, once they open their Internet browser.
The subscriber will have to acknowledge he has read the message and agree not to conduct any illegal activity before he will be allowed to surf the Web any further.
Using MarkMonitor’s Internet watchdog service, the program monitors peer-to-peer file-sharing services and can detect subscribers who are illegally downloading based on their IP address.
The program will only monitor peer-to-peer file-sharing services, and not other forms of illegal file downloading such as cyberlockers, e-mail attachments, shared Dropbox folders.
The initiative does not require ISPs to filter copyrighted files distributing through their networks.
On a scofflaw’s first offense, internet subscribers will receive an e-mail “alert” from their ISP saying the account may have been misused for online content theft.
Talk back: Do you think the CAS is fair for Internet subscribers? Do you think these new measures will successfully curb illegal downloading? Let us know in the comments.